Today, USAID released its first annual progress review on the Agency’s 2022-2030 Climate Strategy. In the first year under the Strategy, USAID has increased its climate investments, launched new initiatives, and is working to tackle the climate crisis in more countries than ever.
The Strategy, which Administrator Samantha Power launched in April 2022, guides USAID’s whole-of-Agency approach to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, help partner countries build resilience to climate change through implementing the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), and improve our operations.
In Fiscal Year 2022, USAID conserved over 60 million hectares of carbon-rich lands like tropical forests – an area larger than California. The Agency mobilized more than $340 million in public and private finance to help countries adapt to climate change, critical funding as investments in climate adaptation are well below global needs. And USAID worked with countries to provide power to millions of people while reducing emissions through actions like holding competitive renewable energy auctions and increasing energy efficiency.
USAID also advanced climate-positive development practices across the Agency’s work, recognizing that the climate crisis touches every aspect of development. For example, USAID provided 250,000 farmers in Bangladesh with access to timely and location-specific weather advisories, resulting in farmers saving an average of $467 by avoiding losses due to climate disasters – crucial savings in a country where the average annual income is just under $3,000 per year. USAID also launched and funded several new initiatives that drive gender-equitable climate action, including the new USAID Climate Gender Equity Fund.
The Agency has also taken steps to make its own operations more sustainable. On June 20, the General Services Administration announced it would use Inflation Reduction Act funding to fully electrify and install heat pumps at USAID’s headquarters – ultimately making it a net-zero emissions building.
This progress builds on USAID’s broader efforts to promote sound stewardship of environmental and natural resources. For instance, earlier this month, USAID announced it kept the equivalent of 6.5 billion plastic bottles out of the ocean in 2022 as part of the Agency’s Save Our Seas Initiative.
This is just a start, and meeting the scale of the climate crisis will require greater investment and ambition. The Agency will continue building on this foundation throughout this decisive decade for climate action.